Hyponatremia refers to an electrolyte imbalance characterized by low sodium levels in the blood. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells, also maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles. Normal blood sodium concentration ranges from 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).
Types of Hyponatremia –
▪︎ Hypovolemic Hyponatremia
Caused by fluid loss, often due to vomiting or diarrhea.
▪︎ Euvolemic Hyponatremia
Occurs when there is water retention without a proportional increase in sodium, seen in conditions like syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).
▪︎ Hypervolemic Hyponatremia
Results from excess fluid in the body, often associated with heart failure or liver cirrhosis.
• Early symptoms include nausea, headache, and confusion.
• Severe cases may lead to seizures, coma, and, in extreme situations, death.
Hyponatremia causes could be as follows under different conditions –
• Excessive Fluid Intake
Drinking large amounts of water without balancing electrolytes.
• Medical Conditions
Heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney diseases can contribute.
Diuretics, antidepressants, and certain pain medications can lead to sodium depletion.
Risk Factors –
There are certain risk factors that could aggravate such condition which includes –
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible.
• Certain Medications
Increased risk with diuretics or drugs affecting water balance.
• Medical Conditions
Chronic illnesses affecting the kidneys or liver.
• Cerebral Edema
Swelling of the brain due to water retention.
• Seizures and Coma
Resulting from severe sodium imbalance.
• Respiratory Arrest
In extreme cases, hyponatremia can lead to respiratory failure.
▪︎ Blood Tests
Measure sodium levels and assess other electrolytes.
▪︎ Urine Tests
Evaluate the concentration of urine to determine the body’s ability to excrete water.
• Fluid Restriction
Limiting water intake is often the initial step.
• Hypertonic Saline Infusion
In severe cases, a saline solution with a higher sodium concentration may be administered.
• Addressing underlying Causes
Treating the condition responsible for hyponatremia, such as heart failure or kidney disease.
Ayurvedic Treatment –
As per Ayurveda, the medicines that are helpful for hyponatremia are:
According to Ayurveda, there are five types of salts. They are Saindhava, Samudrika, Sauvarchala, Vida, and Audbhida and contain a rich source of sodium. Hence useful in hyponatremia. Among them, Saindhava Lavana is the best one because it won’t increase pitta dosha in our body. So this salt can be used in a hypertension person.
• Sajjikhar (Barilla / Impure carbonate of soda)
It is used in the form of alkali, which contains some amount of sodium. So it is very effective for the treatment of hyponatremia. .
• Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha has the power to restore the electrolyte balance and provide strength to the body and help in hyponatremia symptoms such as muscle weakness, headache, drowsiness, fatigue, etc. It is an excellent nervine tonic. It helps to restore normal neurological functions of our body.
• Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Brahmi is one of the rasayanas that helps to balance higher mental functions. It helps to maintain hormonal imbalance hence, it is beneficial in this condition.
• Balanced Hydration
Ensuring a proper balance of water and electrolyte intake.
• Regular Monitoring
Especially for individuals on diuretics or with chronic medical conditions.
Timely diagnosis and intervention are crucial for a favorable outcome.
The prognosis varies based on the severity of symptoms and the underlying cause.
Hyponatremia is a complex condition with diverse causes and potential complications. A multidisciplinary approach involving fluid management, addressing underlying conditions, and close monitoring is essential for effective management.
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